Three decades after 63 people were killed in a bombing there, the U.S. embassy in Beirut is not classified as “high threat,” even though Lebanon as a whole is listed as “critical,” Hezbollah has a strong presence near it, and the embassy itself “fails to meet security protocols.”
According to a State Department inspector general’s report, “physical security vulnerabilities, which include office facilities and residencies, place employees at risk.” In fact, according to the Washington Guardian, things are so bad that the inspector general suggested the State Department “build a new facility.”
The report described the embassy as a “cramped, aged, and difficult to maintain office” in a “steep and hilly compound.”
The inspector general’s report noted that although the State Department’s “threat rating for Beirut is critical for terrorism and political violence,” the embassy did not make the “list of high-threat missions.”
A State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity said these assessments can change quickly–suggesting the embassy could be added to the “high threat” list at any time. Nevertheless, the office admitted “it was unbelievable that the State Department did not have Beirut on the high threat list” already.